A note to our competitors this year whether you metaled or not:
“It’s not just about the results, it’s about perfect execution. It is the process that counts, not just the end result.”
Winning a championship metal and representing your team is a great thing but many people only reevaluate their technique and strategy during losses. To find their mistakes and places of improvement. But rarely do people take the same amount of time after their wins. It is important to spend just the same amount of time evaluating your wins as it is to evaluate and learn from your losses. Why? Because your mindset should be on perfect execution while on the mats in competition, not just trying to win a metal. The process is much more important than the result.
Even if you win you should be evaluating why the match ended in such a close score. “I should have left this match out of reach of my opponent,” or, “why was I able to win only by points (advantages), why was I unable to finish with a submission? What opportunities did I miss to do so?” You have to remember the win on that day of competition started weeks, months,(and for our seasoned competitors) even years in preparation for that one day of competition. It included off-season practice, extra Sunday practices, private lessons, extra-work in the weight room, and extra time on the treadmill. Every second of that process led you to a championship metal. So how did you become a champion on that day of competition? Because you already were a champion. Your commitment, character, conviction, and attitude prior to that day of competition allowed you to do what you needed to do as a competitor on the day when it matters most. These attributes-commitment, conviction, character, and attitude- do not ensure success, but they make it possible.
“What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you say.”
There are doers who exude positive energy and have the toughness to work hard, persevere, overcome adversity, and take great pride in their work. There are others who can always give you a reason why they don’t get it right. If you know what you want and have the commitment, conviction, character, and attitude to go after it, then are you ready to do the things necessary to succeed? Are you willing to put in the hard work that it’s going to take?
“You don’t always get what you want, but you always get what you deserve.”
What you want should be something you’ve already earned. I believe that if you invest your time, you can get what you deserve. Understand, this doesn’t mean you will always get what you want. Just because you have a great 6 week training camp doesn’t mean you will win on competition day, but it does give you a better chance at winning. In other words, doing things correctly will only put you in the best position for success, relative to the competition. As blackbelts, as coaches, and as leaders it is our responsibility to put our competitors in the best position to reach their goals, in every match and even in every single positional change in that one match. As a person and martial artist, you have the same responsibility to yourself: to give maximum effort in all of your endeavors to set yourself up for success, even though it is not guaranteed. Put the time into making practice, reviewing tape on yourself, watching matches on youtube, getting extra workouts outside of the dojo and always do the best work possible- and you’ll be surprised at the results.